WXXI AM News

UR campus newspaper explores stories of students claiming sexual harassment cases were mishandled

Jan 17, 2018

Credit campustimes.org

The University of Rochester campus newspaper, the Campus Times, is exploring more stories of students claiming their sexual harassment cases were mishandled by the administration.

The series is called, "When the Process Fails” and looks at stories of sexual assault allegations at UR other than the Jaeger case.

With a focus on undergraduates, senior at UR and writer for the paper Jackie Powell tells WXXI News they hope the project to add depth to the situation, showing that other students have had issues with the university's policies and procedures regarding sexual assault and harassment.

"We sensed that undergraduates especially were hurting. And there was something that was really troubling them. So we thought that this was important to show not only the university, the university community, but the Rochester community, why the students were responding to the Jaeger case and the EEOC complaint in the way in which they were."

Powell wrote the first piece in the series. She quotes from the student she interviewed, Junior Kyra Battaglia.

"I’m telling my story and I’m fighting this because it needs to be done in order to help others who are forced into situations such as this.”

Powell says for her, this sums up why this project is so necessary for the paper to embark on.

"We find that these stories are powerful, and they'll get people to come forward. And we're just adding to this narrative of unity and #MeToo."

In their reporting, Powell says they found a lack of communication was a common complaint. That students didn’t feel listened to or sometimes felt denied by the administration. She said after hearing frustrated students and stories of assault through the campus grapevine, she and her co-author Justin Trombly decided to create this series.

Powell says with accountability comes a lot of responsibility and that the paper wants to share these stories and point the university in the right direction.

Stories can be found at whentheprocessfails.com.

A spokesperson for the University of Rochester responded to the project saying:

"We know the Campus Times is committed to reporting on the issues most important to students and the University of Rochester community. Addressing sexual misconduct is an extremely important issue for the University and in the past five years, policies and processes for responding to reports of sexual misconduct have been updated and strengthened, and training programs, prevention efforts and resources available to students have all been expanded.  The recommendations in the Independent Investigation’s report present us with a unique opportunity to lead the way in addressing important issues of sexual harassment and misconduct in academia. We will take full advantage of that opportunity."